Pub patron left high and dry
A SUNDAY afternoon beer at the Billinudgel pub is one of Adam Luck's simple pleasures - or it used to be.
Now, after Brunswick Valley Coaches axed its Sunday and public holiday bus services, there's nothing simple about it.
Mr Luck, 33, has used the service since moving to Ocean Shores from Byron Bay in 2005. He can't drive or cycle between his home and the pub because he has epilepsy, leaving him dependent on the bus for the outings and the social contact that goes with them.
Brunswick Valley Coaches owner Robert Jarvis was not available for comment yesterday. However, it was understood few people had used the Sunday/public holiday service.
NSW Greens transport spokeswoman Lee Rhiannon said the State Government needed to guarantee local bus services.
“Transport Minister David Campbell needs to step up to the plate and either subsidise the current private bus service or open a new public bus service,” she said.
Mr Campbell said Brunswick Valley Coaches was already providing services under contract to the Government, but that contract did not require buses to run on Sundays and public holidays.
He said the service had been getting between three and five passengers per run on those days and the company had told the Government it wanted to stop the service.
“On the basis of these patronage numbers, and provided that reasonable notice is given and adequate community consultation is undertaken by the operator, it would be difficult to justify withholding an approval of the submission, especially as the services are above the minimum required by the contract,” Mr Campbell said.
A bus driver with Brunswick Valley Coaches, who did not want to be identified, said the company had been losing money on the service and cancelled it only because people weren't using it.
“It will certainly resume if we can get people to catch it,” they said.
Until then, Mr Luck is relying on his parents, who live near him, to give him a ride to his Sunday arvo beer at the Billi pub.
“They find it very frustrating,” he said.